"Baby Shark" Used To Punish Jail Inmates

Cruelty charges for blasting kiddy song on loop

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"Baby Shark" Bust

OCTOBER 6--Corrections officers subjected inmates to “inhuman” discipline by blasting the children’s song “Baby Shark” on a loop at an Oklahoma jail, according to a prosecutor.

In a misdemeanor criminal information filed yesterday, two former Oklahoma County detection officers and their supervisor were each charged with conspiracy and multiple counts of cruelty to an inmate.

As alleged in court records, former jailers Christian Miles and Gregory Butler, both 21, and Christopher Hendershott, a 50-year-old lieutenant, abused four male inmates by handcuffing them to a wall “in a standing position for extended periods of time while at the same time playing music loudly.”

The alleged cruelty occurred late last year at the county lockup in Oklahoma City (seen above).

Investigators charge that the defendants would place an inmate in an attorney visitation room from which the furniture had been removed. The inmate would be handcuffed behind his back and secured to a wall, “where he was forced to stand” for around two hours.

Then, “Baby Shark” would be played “on a continuous loop” from a computer adjacent to the visitation room. None of the inmates appeared to be combative, according to a probable cause affidavit.

After an investigator learned of “irregular activities” at the jail, Miles reportedly confirmed in an interview that he and Butler “systematically worked discipline inmates and teach them a lesson because they felt disciplinary action within the Detention Center was not working in correcting the behavior of the inmates.”

The court affidavit states that inmates and staff told investigators that the blasting of “Baby Shark” was intended to put “undue emotional stress on the inmates who were most likely already suffering from physical stressors.” The playing of the music “was said to be a joke between Miles and Butler as confirmed by Miles.”

While Miles and Butler were the subject of a torrent of inmate complaints alleging mistreatment, Hendershott failed to investigate the complaints or “properly supervise and discipline” the two young jailers. In fact, after Hendershott “first learned of inmate mistreatment by Miles and Butler” in late-November, he took no immediate action, which “appeared to have led” to at least six other inmates being “physically victimized.” (5 pages)